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A Thai Papaya Salad Street Vendor: A Mobile Kitchen

Thai Som Tam Street Vendor
Just the other day as I was on my way to one of my favorite noodle shops in a busy alley on Silom Road in Bangkok, I came across these hawker’s baskets. So I took out my phone and asked their owner for permission to take some photos. The vendor lady, who seemed shy, told me, giggly, that she didn’t want to be photographed but that I could take as many photos as I wanted of her baskets. So I did. Just one photo.

I just wanted to show you what’s in this mobile kitchen. Continue Reading →

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July 4th Celebration, Tropical Fruit (and Edible Flower) Edition

July 4th Tropical Fruit Edition
I’m writing this from a jungle somewhere in western Thailand, and there are lots and lots of butterfly pea flowers, langsat, and rambutans around. I hope you like this tropical fruit (and edible flower) edition of July 4th celebration. I sure did (guess who ate the props).

Happy July 4th to those who celebrate it. Hope you’re enjoying the long holiday and having fun with your loved ones. My current location and situation don’t allow me to cook very often, so there won’t be many recipes on the blog for the rest of the summer, but I’m pretty active on Instagram, so if you’re interested in seeing what I’ve been doing and eating in Thailand, please feel free to follow me.

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Spicy Fresh Tomato “Hell” Relish (น้ำพริกมะเขือเทศ)

Spicy Fresh Tomato Relish
A few weeks ago, I had a short conversation with @dawnwow on Twitter who said to me that she had always felt like pico de gallo was a flavor short of being Thai. I completely agreed with her. In fact, if you’re familiar with both Mexican and Thai cuisines, surely you’ve noticed some similarities as well (compare the roasted tomato sauce accompanying “crying tiger” in Simple Thai Food with roasted tomato salsa, for example).

That dialogue reminded me of a quick relish I frequently made when I was a new student in the US which, for some reason, I don’t make nearly as often any more. Back then, though, I practically lived on it. There would always be a batch in the refrigerator, ready to be used on anything I could afford to make or bring home. As a cash-challenged student, those things usually included a Thai omelet, some hard-boiled or medium-boiled eggs, or a store-bought rotisserie chicken one of which would last me for 3-4 days.

There were a small repertoire of quick, simple, affordable, and highly versatile dishes like this relish that saw me through those days when I had very little time and even less money. In many ways, I feel I owe my life to them. Continue Reading →

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